It’s the Little Things (that encourage a caregiver)

The amount didn't matter, but the heart behind the letters meant the world to me.

The amount didn’t matter nearly as much as the heart behind the letters.

I scanned the envelope for a recognizable address.  The handwriting was not familiar nor the return address.  I tore it open, happy that it was obviously not a bill, like the rest of the mail.

I pulled out a short note and a check for $36 fell out.   It seemed like an odd amount  and I checked the signature at the bottom.  Not a name I knew.  I read the sweet note enclosed, searching for how we might know this person.  She wrote of her continued prayers on behalf of our boy.  I smiled.  The kindness of strangers and the prayers that sustain us.

People had been sending gifts to our boy and blessing us in many ways.   I told my husband about the caring letter and the prayers from someone we did not know.

We went on with the business of cancer fighting.

The next month, another envelope arrive that looked very similar.  In this envelope was a check for $7.41.  An even more brief note of continued prayers with a signature I did not recognize.

I saved the letter with other cards and notes and went on with the business of cancer fighting.

The next month a note came with $14.50.  I was baffled by the amounts and couldn’t help wondering about the identity.  Yes, I knew the name, but I did not know why they sent regular checks with irregular amounts.

What I did know was that this money always seemed to be an amount we needed for something.  Field trip money we hadn’t budgeted for, a chance to grab a meal on the drive to the hospital, and a haircut.

The next month there was no check and I didn’t really notice, until the following month’s check came in the amount of $23.85.

One day my mom was chatting with me on the phone and was listing to me the people that had asked about my son’s leukemia battle and this name came up.  I jumped a little with excitement and asked, “You KNOW this lady?”

“Why yes,” replied my mom, “she’s the aunt of ____ and her brother is _____.”

I felt a stillness settle over me.  I had never met this woman, but because she understood the toll cancer can take on a caregiver and the whole family, she was sharing her money as well as her heart with us!  Mom added, “She said she’s been praying for you every single day.”

“Well, she does more than pray!”  I told my mom about the little notes of encouragement and the odd check amounts that came in the mail.

Months passed when my mom again mentioned this lady.  “I ran into _________ the other day at the supermarket.  She asked about you and wondered how Andrew is doing.  She said to me, ‘I feel so badly that I didn’t get any overtime the last month.  But I just got overtime last week, so will be sending your daughter a check – I’m so excited that God provides overtime!”

It turned out that this precious angel had promised God that for that year, if He provided overtime for her, she would give half of that overtime check to our family, to help in our fight against childhood cancer.

The money amounts varied over that year, sometimes large and sometimes small, but those notes of encouragement and the fact that a lady who had never met me was willing to spend her extra money on us was an incredible, but unexpected blessing.

The amount of the gift does not matter as much as the heart of the giver. #write31days #unexpectedblessings via @caregivermom Click To Tweet

Read the rest of the series of 31 Days of Unexpected Blessings from Caregiving